3 GREAT FOOTBALLERS WHO NEVER MADE THE BALLON D'OR PODIUM  

3

WAYNE ROONEY

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Wayne Rooney shook the world with his exploits at Euro 2004. He enjoyed a spectacular career at Manchester United but his selflessness definitely cost him on the awards front. He was key player in the England national team but failed to make it big in the international arena.

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Rooney won the Premier League and the Champions League double in the 2007-08 season. He was also the Red Devils' leading goalscorer with 34 goals across all competitions in the 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons. They made it to the finals of the Champions League both times but failed to win it.

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Rooney was also chosen as the PFA Player of the Year in 2010. He was so well-rounded as a footballer that he thrived in every position he played in. But, despite his contributions, Rooney never made the Ballon d'Or top 3. The closest he came was finishing fifth in the 2011 race.

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2

JOHAN NEESKENS

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One of the greatest Dutch midfielders of all time, Johan Neeskens was one of the toughest men in Cruyff's supporting cast during their best years in world football. A steely campaigner, Neeskens was one of the first to specialize in a box-to-box role.

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He was a tireless worker and was notably hailed as being 'worth two men in midfield' by his teammate Sjaak Swart. Cruyff won the Ballon d'Or three times and he owes a lot of credit to his supporting cast that includes Neeskens. The 2 also made it to the finals of the World Cup in 1974 and 1978.

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Neeskens is also widely acknowledged to have been the best player at the 1974 FIFA World Cup. He won the World Cup Silver Boot and was named in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team. But he finished fifth in that year's race for the Ballon d'Or and that's the closest he ever came.

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1

LUIS SUAREZ

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Although he is a divisive figure, it's difficult to dismiss Luis Suarez's credentials as one of the best footballers of the 21st century. The Uruguayan marksman achieved the almost unimaginable feat of outscoring Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi twice when they both were at the peak.

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He also won the lot with Barcelona before his move to Atletico Madrid last summer. After making a name for himself at Ajax, Suarez caught everyone's attention with his incredible performances for Liverpool. He then moved to Barcelona where he formed part of the famed ‘MSN’ trio.

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In the 2015-16 campaign, the Uruguayan was unstoppable. He scored 53 goals in 58 matches across all competitions. However, the closest that Luis Suarez came to the top three in the race for the Ballon d'Or was in 2015 when he finished fifth.

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